Lateralization for visual processes: eye preference in Campbell's monkeys (Cercopithecus c. campbelli)

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Brain lateralization has been the matter of extensive research over the last centuries, but it remains an unsolved issue. While hand preferences have been extensively studied, very few studies have investigated laterality of eye use in non-human primates. We examined eye preference in 14 Campbell's monkeys (Cercopithecus c. campbelli). We assessed eye preference to look at a seed placed inside a tube using monocular vision. Eye use was recorded for 100 independent and non-rewarded trials per individual. All of the 14 monkeys showed very strong preferences in the choice of the eye used to look inside the tube (mean preference: 97.6%). Eight subjects preferred the right eye and six subjects preferred the left eye. The results are discussed in light of previous data on eye preference in primates, and compared to data on hand preference from these subjects. Our findings would support the hypothesis for an early emergence of lateralization for perceptual processes compared to manual motor functions.

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